Monday, June 15, 2009

EMS Expo 2007 at Grand Rapids

[23 Apr 2007 | Monday]

Current mood: rejuvenated
Category: Jobs, Work, Careers

Hi Everyone!

Michigan's EMS Expo was this weekend in Grand Rapids. Kinda quiet for Medstar's standards. There was only a few of us (and I do mean a few!) that attended. Nicole and I made the most of it!

Got a later start than we wanted to on Friday (not too mention bogged down by traffic), but we arrived safe and sound at the Amway Grand at noon. Got settled in, took in a couple of classes and then the fun began.

We were invited to a meet and greet for a very special person early Friday evening. Here's a pic to prove it (see if you can guess who the guy in the middle is before you go farther).

That is none other than Mr. Randolph Mantooth....better known to the EMS community as Johnny Gage from Emergency!

This all took place on the 28th floor of the Amway Grand in the reserved section of Cygnus 27, pretty much a 5 star restaurant/martini bar. After that we went down a level to the restaurant proper and had a very excellent dinner! The lobster bisque was sensational and if I didn't think they could top that...the dinner was even better! The sea bass was phenomenal!! I don't know if I've ever had better fish (and I've had my fair share of fish over the years). Just exquisite! Dessert was excellent. I recommend trying the trio'll know when you see it! The martini's were outstanding! All in all...a great evening (just to get started)!

There's the desert trio (finished of course!) on the table!

I don't think Nikki ever takes a bad picture! If she does, this isn't it! Looking faaaabulous, dahling!

A little fondue to finish the dinner off!

Two peas in a pod! THe sister I never had and the brother she never had!

I'm not exactly sure what this was...but it tasted delish!!!! And a none-to-subtle reminder of somebody's birthday!

Like I said...the night was just getting started! Next stop...

Lemmee tell you....Rag's to Riches (our old EMS Expo hangout) is history! This place rocks! We had a veritable blast! The drinks are cold and the show is awesome! I never thought that I'd have a blast in a piano bar of all places. Of course Nicole got me up on the stage for my birthday! Everybody had fun at everybody's expense!

All of the pianists were tremendous, but one of them stood head and shoulders above the rest. His name is Andy. Andy just didn't play the piano or the guitar or the bass guitar or the trumpet. He sings just as well as he plays. And they played everything! Concertos, old rock, country, pop, new stuff, old stuff....everything! We talked to Andy after the show and found out that the only instrument that he doesn't play (and he is so frustrated by the fact that he can't get it down) is the sax. His parents came up all the way from Columbus, OH to see him play (for the very first time ever) and I found out that his mother is collecting money to do a 60 mile walk for breast cancer. Of course I gave her a donation. A buck a mile. Good money well spent! A truly tremendous family!

Andy (sorry I didn't get his last name) is playing in Ypsilanti at Pub 13 on July 14th and August 4th. I'm gonna be planning a little road trip! Stay tuned! Everyone is invited!

Ooops! I kinda forgot my camera when we went to Mojo's (both day's even...boy, I'm getting old!). I'll do better next time!

Well, I was pretty whipped after that so we went back to the Grand after that and crashed...apparently very hard (for me at least). Nicole went over to bother Brook Atkinson for an hour or so. I left a dent in my pillow! I was poooped! So pooped that I don't remember yelling at Nicole for jumping on my bed when she got back to the room. I also don't remember her trying to get me up in the morning to go to Melissa Gladieux's class at 0800. After that we went to see Randy's (Johhny Gage) keynote session on the beginnings of EMS, of which Emergency! was a big part.

After that...time to work...if you want to call spending three hours at an arm's length from Mr. Mantooth work. We helped everyone get their autographs. He did the autographs for free, we just sold the pics and other memorabilia so he could raise money for the County of Los Angeles Fire Museum which is going to include the start of EMS, EMT's and Paramedics within the exhibits.

Here's Randy's official website:

Had a blast...another job where you can have fun while working! Always works for me!

The man...the legend himself!

Nikki and Randy!

Mikey and Randy!

Randy signing one of many photographs. He went through almost a dozen sharpies in the three hours he was signing! And only one potty break! Now that's dedication!

After that we attended the Award's Banquet and Dinner like we always do. Luckily, Kolby's got contacts. He lost the banquet tickets! We still got it though! Good dinner! I even had seconds ( it was whatever Melissa couldn't finish)! After that...martini's up in the tower again at Cygnus 27.

Then back to Mojo's to finish the night off. Once again, a great time! Jerod (from Macomb County Medcom fame) joined us for dinner, martini's and Mojo's. Even an old sourpuss (JK Jerod!!!) like him had a great time!

We crashed again and slept in a bit on Sunday morning. Grabbed a great breakfast at Bentham's after checking out (can't beat the sausage gravy and biscuits!). We finished our little vacation by taking a little trip through history at The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum. Jerod and another friend Kim joined us on our jaunt through history. Well worth it...I'll recommend it to anybody!

And then the reluctant drive home...


I am coming to the distinct impression that Grand Rapids is my singular choice for a weekend getaway. The city is absolutely gorgeous. Downtown is clean and well organized. It might be a little on the expensive side for a getaway but the amenities make it all worth it. And it's growing rather than the decay we see around here. Of course...I'll always be the eternal optimist. It is possible that Detroit could rebound and be as nice as Grand Rapids is. It's going to take a lot of work, though.

Next blog is coming soon...featuring my new house!!! Pictures to be included! Stay tuned!

God Bless!


21:19 0 Kudos


Well said Mikey!!! Let's do it again next year!!! Love ya nicole
Posted by Nicole on [24 Apr 2007 | Tuesday] - 12:12


You know it Beautiful!!!!

I also wanted to add...because I was woefully neglectful...Randy Mantooth is the genuine article, folks! He doesn't act standoffish or celebrity. Heck, before the banquet I saw him standing in line with the rest of us waiting to get a drink.

He is a genuine, down-to-earth, good-hearted individual on a mission. His only use of his celebrity status is to advance a good cause. Maybe that's why (well, there's plenty of other reasons too!) I remain the optimist in an ocean of pessimism...most people are basically good and good-hearted. And another reason I do what I do. Because I'm surrounded by good people and great friends.

Muppet and I talked a little bit last night (while I was writing my blog) and we came to the conclusion (not a bit overly obvious) that, no matter how much our family and our friends love us and support us, unless they do what we do, day in and day out, they will NEVER completely understand us and why we do what we do. This is not said out of contempt, it's just the way it is, God bless them. And Us.

God Bless!


Posted by Mikey on [24 Apr 2007 | Tuesday] - 19:44

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